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 Making Harpy Wings, My adventures in creating feather wings
Ashe
 Posted: 14th February 2016, 6:51 PM
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the feathered fae
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Phew! http://i.imgur.com/Z1EYPUD.gif I've been so busy lately and had to put these wings off for a little while... but I'm back on it now!

I was so inspired last night because I watched Guardians of Ga'hoole, a movie/book series from my childhood about owls. Its so gorgeous and the owls are fantastically animated, I think I have a new color design based off of owl wings! http://i.imgur.com/yMIfjbN.gif

I was able to run out and grab my 12 gauge wire this afternoon and I'll probably spend the rest of the night chopping that up into my feather shafts. Tomorrow I hope I can hit my fabric store and see if I can find a sturdy kind of felt to make the primary feathers!

I am no longer going to use craft foam for the feathers because I plan on taking these wings to many conventions and meets so I don't want it to tear, stain, etc. Using felt will look a little more realistic, I believe!

I'll update tonight hopefully. Photo bucket is being a poop and I'd rather not deal with photos, but I'll see what I can do http://i.imgur.com/fcfBcpz.gif

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Ashe
 Posted: 14th February 2016, 9:25 PM
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the feathered fae
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Whelp I knew my streak of motivation was too good to be true. I was starting to cut my wire but as the feather shafts got longer I realized that the wire was all wrong. It's the right thickness, but way too flimsy. Grrrr... no updates tonight. http://i.imgur.com/EwPgvQO.gif

I'll still be out tomorrow looking for fabric though.

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Ashe
 Posted: 15th February 2016, 10:05 AM
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New day! Coincidentally I had a friend who just so happened to need the exact wire that I had bought for her own cosplay, so she's taking it off my hands http://i.imgur.com/GpvxHxj.gif I'll be able to get my new wire at some point.

I'm off to the fabric store. There's some President's Day coupons going in so I'm crossing my feathers I can find what I need today http://i.imgur.com/fcfBcpz.gif

I kind of want to start working on feather templates today... Not sure if I'll get to it but it would be a great start.

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Saelyyia
 Posted: 15th February 2016, 10:37 AM
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The Twilight Rose
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I can't wait to see some progress pictures on this. The whole concept is just so over the top I love it!

So I'm super curious. what is the next wire you plan to try? Galvanized? Florist wire? Or just a different crafting wire?

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Ashe
 Posted: 15th February 2016, 2:07 PM
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So I was able to get the correct wire. It is 12 gauge solid with plastic coating. The issue before was that I had bought stranded wire, so there was barely any tension and it flopped if it exceeded 5 inches. Bit of a problem when I have feathers that are 40 inches long http://i.imgur.com/lG5PdYK.gif

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Saelyyia
 Posted: 15th February 2016, 2:23 PM
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Makes sense. Glad you were able to get the correct wire and that the previous wire was still of use to someone.

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Ashe
 Posted: 10th April 2016, 5:40 PM
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Alright, I'm back and ready to fly! http://i.imgur.com/GpvxHxj.gif To excuse my off and on absence towards this project, it's super hard because very few people have attempted this kind of wing, and there are many parts that I have to experiment and figure out for myself. http://i.imgur.com/EwPgvQO.gif Also, I want these wings to last me good long time so I have been trying to get the best materials which can get expensive! Ok, no more excuses haha.

Instead of copper wire, I switched to steel rods to construct my primary feathers. They're a bit heavier and I won't use them throughout all the feathers, but that is actually great because that will make the tips of the feathers more flexible just like a real feather! http://i.imgur.com/d873YKf.gif Ha! My wing anatomy is improving.

But wait, there's more. I've completed my patterns http://i.imgur.com/GpvxHxj.gif

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Ashe
 Posted: 10th April 2016, 10:55 PM
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I traced up all of my patterns onto my felt and began to cut them all out like big feather cookies!

user posted image

I pinned them all to a board so I can keep them organized and in place until I'm finished working with wire and I am ready to assemble them. The whole process took about two hours!

user posted image

I'm going to call it a night, I'm glad I accomplished so much today! Tomorrow I am going to take my steel rods to a neighbor who has the tools to cut them for me. More updates soon!

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CoriannaLee
 Posted: 14th April 2016, 6:33 PM
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Oh wow these are going to be so great! I don't think I've ever seen anything like this attempted before, its a great concept. Good luck!
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Ashe
 Posted: 7th July 2016, 5:07 PM
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Back to work on these harpy wings!

After taking (another) break to regroup my thoughts, plan, and work on other projects, I have finally gotten my head on straight.

I'm deciding on not using metal wires, cords, or rods at all. I found a http://i.imgur.com/gHxkm6c.gif magical http://i.imgur.com/gHxkm6c.gif material called Coroplast which are plastic sheets with a bone-like structure. Using this will make my wings so much less flimsy, much more light weight and move realistically. I am currently cutting out pieces for the primary feathers. By tomorrow I'll start sandwiching the plastic in between the fabric pieces.

Here's a little sneak peak http://i.imgur.com/fcfBcpz.gif

user posted image

And here I'm just holding them up so you can see just how big they are in comparison.

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Mitania
 Posted: 7th July 2016, 5:11 PM
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I wasn't imagining them to be so big! http://i.imgur.com/8b4l5ud.gif You're really going for an anatomically correct approach, aren't you?
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Saelyyia
 Posted: 7th July 2016, 5:12 PM
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The Twilight Rose
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Oh my godmother. They look amazing so far! Glad to see your progress on these. It really is a cool idea.

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NamelessBaroness
 Posted: 8th July 2016, 6:06 AM
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Those are so neat! I LOVE seeing people make "different" sorts of wings.

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Ashe
 Posted: 8th July 2016, 3:39 PM
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the feathered fae
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Thank you everyone!

So now I'm starting to sandwich the feathers together http://i.imgur.com/fcfBcpz.gif

I hope to have all of the primaries done by tonight and then drill a hole through the bases and loop them through ring. This will complete the 'fan' portion of the wing. Next I'll start to work on attaching the secondary feathers to the elastic arm piece and then paint them all. After that, I just have to make the sleeves to hide my arms and I'll be done http://i.imgur.com/fcfBcpz.gif

Sneak peek ;)

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